Holiday traffic is the type of pressure cooker that tests even the most patient among us. Everyone has someplace to be and I was supposed to be there ten minutes ago. Intersection behavior is like a mini-personality indicator, especially at intricate woven dealies like the five-way stops near my house.
Northwest drivers are notoriously passive and generally polite. But how a driver reacts to another driver’s genuine fumble is a true test of grace. In response to those moments of benign stupidity, it is the driver who flips a smile and an understanding wave instead of a manicured middle finger who earns my relieved admiration and immediate belief that they must be a good person in every other way.
I believe that we all “Say Grace” in different ways; it might be through actual prayer, a thoughtful journal, a state of being, an unplanned reflection or another expression of gratitude for our proverbial blessings. Each day we are also presented a myriad of opportunities to serve grace, to present our softest side to the world, offering a velvet hand instead of a stony fist. Today is the perfect day to stop and purposefully notice those who are serving grace; they’re everywhere.
Notice the neighbors and volunteers who see a need and work to fill it; whether it is making sure everyone gets a yearbook, arranging yet another annual food or turkey drive or quietly spending countless hours working behind the scenes at your child’s school.
Appreciate the person who used Facebook to return your lost credit card and the one who delivered that missing wallet back to your teen.
Be thankful for the finders of lost people and animals.
Smile in admiration for those who support families facing loss by organizing regular meals and giving them a fresh shoulder to lean on.
Remember the person who gently diffused an escalating situation, refused to gossip, or chose to step closer to the odd person out.
Thank the stranger who passed you toilet paper under the door or stopped to offer directions as you stood dazed and confused on a street corner.
Recognize the strength it takes to be a gracious loser and the even greater challenge it takes to be a gracious winner.
Commiserate with the mom sobbing with relief as she reunites with her lost child at Target. Be sure to tell her it has happened to you.
Adore the friends who lie straight to your face about something you are self-conscious about and high five the men who let women hold doors for them without an overly awkward struggle.
Praise the child who patiently withstands the attention of younger relatives and then politely indulges their elders even if they are listening to the same story as last time.
High five the gas station owner who calmly deals with the aftermath of your gas hose drive-off and celebrate the school secretary who deals with lice discreetly…every time. And of course, double hug the friend who loves you even though you are always ten minutes late.
Wanna say Hiya to Heija? Follow her on Twitter (@Heija), Friend her on Facebook or relax, sit back, and silently judge her life in the flickering glow of your computer screen at her blog The Worst Mother in the World.